My chicken head (book reviews, radio game, Hanging Rock)

I finished a few books over the past week and the following are my opinions of all three:

Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell: I actually finished this book a couple of weeks ago and just never got around to commenting on it. Then I waited to long and Beth started reviewing it before she even finished it. You can read her thoughts on her blog as they are very good and are basically what I felt. The book was fabulous, as it should be coming from Rob Bell. He does an amazing job of making Old and New Testament Jewish culture edge of your seat must-read material. He makes me want to dig deeper into every verse of the Bible to see what is beneath the surface that most Christians just take at face value. As far as a life-changing book, I disagree with Beth and Brandon and say that I think it is. Maybe it doesnt make you turn your life around in a 180 but it does shift your thought process enough that I think youll never look at the bible the same way again which means that it is in fact life changing. A must read for anyone. Grade A

Visioneering by Andy Stanley: I love Andys books. Ive read them all now. This was not his best work. Maybe because of the time in my life when I read it or maybe because it was way too much info and most of it had been written before by other authors. This book is not much as far as originality. I did wish I had read this book 3-4 years ago. (Pre-Refinery) He basically take the story of Neimiah and breaks it into 20 points about discovering a vision, casting your vision, pursuing your vision, all the obstacles that come along the way to stop your vision, and seeing your vision carried out. I liked the fact that he made it clear that your vision doesnt have to be ministry. It may be your vision in the business world, as a spouse, parent, or whatever. If you feel like God is giving you a vision in your life then Id suggest reading this book. As far as a casual read, leave it alone for now and check out his other books The best question ever or How good is good enough. Grade B-

Through Painted Deserts by Donald Miller: After reading and loving Blue like Jazz and Searching for God knows what by Miller, I had very high expectations for this book. So when it got off to a slow start, a very slow start, I was disappointed. Rhonda and I were discussing it last weekend as she felt the same way. I was just about to put it down and move onto something else when I decided to give it one more chance. And I am glad I did. It is a slow read till chapter 9 then it really took off and I couldnt put it down. The book follows Miller and his friend Paul as they take a month or so and drive from Texas to Oregon. They both have lots of small experiences that in each case bring them a little closer to God. It was cool to read about some of the events that took place on this trip that he briefly mentions in Jazz. For instance he devotes 3 chapters to the hippies he lived with in the woods before he went to work at the Christian camp in CO. Even after the slow start I would highly recommend this book to anyone. Grade A

I emailed a local sports talk station the other day never thinking that what I had to say would really matter much. Then to my surprise as Im driving in my car I hear the radio host mention Mike from Kernersville. After talking about my email he then goes into discussing my myspace. You see I have the link as my signature at the bottom of my emails so the host was wondering on air if that was the cool thing to do. The co-host said I was probably a 17 year old computer geek. The host then pulls up my myspace and starts describing me on the air. Luckily the host defended me and said I seemed normal.

The family and I went up to Danbury today so I could set up Shirleys new computer. After reading the above mentioned, Through Painted Deserts, I felt inspired and decided after I finished I would spend some time hiking up Hanging Rock. So after the installation was complete and lunch was finished I told everyone where I was going. Beth asked if she could come and I said no. After she cried for 30min or so I gave in and let her. Before I left Shirley and I had a disagreement on how long it took to hike up the mountain. I said less then 30 min she said no way that it would take more. So the race was on. No one was at the park so Beth and I had the whole place to ourselves. We began our hike at 3:30pm and reached the summit at 4:00pm. That included 3 rest stops so Beth could catch her breath. It had rained earlier in the day but by time we got to the top the sky was clearing up and it was beautiful. The wind was the strongest I had ever felt up there. There were times when I thought it would blow me down. Beth begged me not to go near the ledge so of course I did. As we got ready to leave we passed a rock that someone had wrote on with a marker. It simply said, "Hi chicken head". Beth didn't find the humor in it but I laughed.

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